A framework to support local authorities and their partners in local decision making
This document, just published, aims to provide guidance for local decision-making on supporting people with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) during the COVID-19 outbreak. Local authorities have statutory safeguarding duties towards all people in Scotland, regardless of their immigration status. They also have duties to protect public health. The guidance sets out considerations for fulfilling these duties during this period and supporting people who are additionally vulnerable because of their immigration status.
Mental Welfare Commission has published new advice on the coronavirus
situation for people who use mental health, learning disability and dementia services
and for their family or carers.
advice offers guidance and contact information aimed at helping people address
some of the challenges that the current restrictions on movement and work
patterns can bring for people using services.
It recognises that lack of staff and social distancing has meant much of
the routine care and treatment in the community has been reduced or
It advises that there should still be an option for emergency contact
with community mental health services even when appointments have been
It gives information on current practice with visiting people in
hospital or care homes, and discusses the new emergency legislation that is in
place but has not yet come into use.
The advice gives a number of contacts for support and information,
including contact information for the Commission’s own advice line.
Anyone who wishes to give feedback to the Commission on this advice, or make suggestions for any updates, can contact the Commission at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Scottish Government has temporarily changed eligibility for a number of our benefits. This is to help people who are impacted by coronavirus and can’t get an application in on time – due to illness or caring responsibilities – to still get the support that they need.
We are working to update our online forms at the moment to reflect these changes, so if a client gets a warning to say that their application is late, they should make sure that they continue and submit so that we can process this.
Clients who make a late application after 7 April may still be treated as eligible even when the delay means they are out with our normal eligibility ages. This is provided they have explained that the reason for their application being late is due to Covid-19.
We will consider their application as if it was submitted on the final date that they would have actually been eligible. That means, if someone applies for Pregnancy and Baby Payment after their baby turns six months old, we will check their application against their circumstances on the day before their baby turned six months – including whether or not they were getting a qualifying benefit on that day.
Best Start grant
Pregnancy and baby payments
Early learning payments
Funeral support payment
Young carer grant
Redetermination and appeals timescales have been extended.
People with sensory loss face extra barriers to
accessing healthcare which can put them at risk of missing out on the care they
need, and avoidable death. In addition, due to the increased risk of adverse
outcomes from respiratory conditions for many disabled people, they may be more
likely to need to access healthcare services. At this time, it is vital that health and social care
workers can still make the reasonable adjustments required by law that these
patients need – this document will help you identify the most important things
you need to do to communicate effectively with your patient to support their
Communicating effectively can help your patient
Understand advice about how to deal with the symptoms of
COVID-19 and keep themselves, and others safe;
Comply with treatment such as medicine dosage;
Keep to appointments and engage with healthcare
Give you the information you need about their symptoms;
Recall the information you have given them;
Make their own decisions and give valid consent to
Remember communication is both about giving and receiving information.
Where possible, always talk directly with the person;
Always ask for the individual’s preferred language and
Remember that noisy and busy environments can make
communication difficult for many disabled people;
People may have more than one disability;
Do not assume just because someone has a mobile number that
they can receive important communications via text;
National and local charities, and self-advocacy groups, or
companies like www.a2i.co.uk and www.ecomdda.com, can provide communication support and solutions. It
may also be appropriate to ask the individual which organisation they recommend
consulting. A wide range of third sector groups can also offer support,
Let the individual know you are there or if you are leaving
Make sure you have large print, electronic, audio version and
Braille versions of information available;
If the person is in a hospital bed, have you told them when
and where you have placed food or drink near them (e.g. 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock
etc) so they do not go hungry or thirsty? Have you told them about the location
of important items such as the emergency call button and checked that they have
understood and can reach them?
Older people are at higher risk of becoming severely
ill due to coronavirus. More than 40% age 40, 60% age 60, 70% of people over
the age of 70 and 90% over 75 have hearing loss. It is important to:
Establish the communication needs of the patient. The pillars
of deafness and language preference describe Deaf, Deafblind, Deafened and Hard
of Hearing as people with different levels of deafness.
Many people with hearing loss rely on visual cues such as
lipreading and facial expressions. Communication can become more difficult or
impossible on the telephone or when you are wearing a mask or using the wrong
language, be that a sign language or verbal language. When wearing a mask,
speak clearly, check understanding by asking them to repeat, speak to a friend
or relative if absolutely necessary. Alternatively, use paper and pens, laptops
or tablets, or visuals and symbols to communicate.
Telephone based services are inaccessible. Do you provide
email, SMS text, Text Relay, textphones or British Sign Language (BSL) video
relay or remote interpreting services? Deaf and deafblind BSL users in Scotland
can use the contactSCOTLAND – BSL service to contact anyone, anytime.
For patients in a hospital bed, have you checked if they have
hearing aids and that they are working? If they do not have hearing aids but
need them, check with audiology locally to see if a personal listener can be
Comply with the British Sign Language (Scotland) Act 2015,
NHS and medical guidance.
Are your hearing loop systems working? Are they regularly
tested? Do you have a portable facility?
Scotland’s Inclusive Communication Hub gives additional
useful resources. Search ‘Top Tips’ for information on other communication
support needs, such as learning disability or autism: https://inclusivecommunication.scot
During the current COVID-19 pandemic Deafblind
Scotland is sending out regular information to keep deafblind people updated on
the developments and support that is available to them during this crisis and
is extend this supporting to people with a visual impairment as well. The
charity is providing the following services which are open for referrals from
Regular briefings for deafblind blind and visually impaired
people, in alternative formats (large print, extra large print, braille, moon,
audio cd). These will provide up to date information on the crisis, benefits
information and any other developments.
1:1 telephone support to access advice on welfare and
benefits including hardship grants, food funds, access to shopping etc.
Contact email@example.com for more
The Scottish Government has launched a new helpline
for peoplewho are at high risk from
coronavirus and do not have a support network at home, including disabled
people. The phone number is 0800 111 4000.
This communication guidance has been produced by the
following organisations. We are extremely grateful for all that health and
social care staff are doing in these unprecedented times. We hope that this
information is valuable for staff in supporting their patients.
The hub will be
updated and added to as new information becomes available. If you have other
queries or require further information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
our email to authorities last week, we stated that the changes made by the
Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 were not retrospective, since no provision in
the Act specified this. Since then, we have received
legal advice that the Act applies to requests for information or review which
were made before the Act but which had not yet been responded to at the
time the Act came in to force. The Commissioner will now proceed on this basis
– please see relevant
FAQs in our new infohub for further detail.
2) FOI /
EIR STATISTICS RETURN
FOI/EIR statistics for the latest quarter (1 January to 31 March 2020) are due
for submission to our stats
portal by 8 May 2020.
The passage of
the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 does not change the requirement to collect
and record statistical data about FOI requests in accordance with section 2 of
the s60 Code of Practice. Authorities
should therefore continue to collect and record their request handling data.
Commissioner’s office is sympathetic to the effects that the Covid-19 pandemic
is having on public authorities at present, however. We therefore ask you to
submit your statistics to our portal before 8 May if you are able, but will
allow for delays in doing so in the short/medium term where this is necessary.
If you are unable to submit by 8 May, we ask that you submit your data as soon as it is possible to do so. This may include submitting two quarters’ data by the next deadline of 7 August 2020. Should you need any help, please let us know via email@example.com.
The UK Government has provided guidance on how to dispose of personal
waste, like tissues, disposable cleaning cloths, wipes and masks if you have
The guidance is for anyone with symptoms, including those diagnosed with
the infection, who must remain at home until they are well. It also applies to
people in households with someone showing symptoms (a new, continuous cough
and/or high temperature) that may be caused by coronavirus.
Personal waste, should be stored securely in disposable rubbish bags.
These should then be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate
from other waste within your home. The double-bagged waste should be put aside
for at least 72 hours in a place that can’t be accessed by other people or
pets, before being put in your non-recyclable waste bin which will be collected
as part of the usual fortnightly collections.
Other household waste can be disposed of as normal. Full guidance for
people staying at home because of confirmed or possible infection can be found on the Government’s website.
need for such a Charter has become even more important due to the unique
circumstances we currently find ourselves in as a result of the COVID-19
pandemic. People who are bereaved may not have been able to be with a person as
they approach the end of their life and may be isolated from their usual
networks of support. It has also changed the traditional ways we are able to
mark our grief. Traditional bereavement rituals and funerals have changed with
many people now unable to attend funerals in the way that they might have in
the past. Many deaths have become sudden, with little or no time to prepare.
is unique and the way we each come to terms with a death is individual. this Charter
and Guidance attempts to describe what good bereavement support can look like
and what difference it can make. #becausegriefmatters
IMPORTANT NOTICE (on behalf of the MWC). If you require to serve a welfare guardianship application on the MWC, please DO NOT do so by post as their offices are closed. Please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org for effective service.